The strategic equation in the Middle East is about to see major changes. It strongly appears that the Iranian-led Resistance Bloc or Axis of Resistance — comprised of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and a cross-section of Palestinian and Iraqi groups — is about to become more powerful than ever before.
After a cooling of ties, a new understanding is being hammered out between Hamas and Tehran. Meanwhile Yemen is under the control of the Houthis and both the US and the House of Saud have essentially lost the four to five years they had invested after the eruption of the Arab Spring of regime management in Sana. Not only is the Resistance Bloc emerging more powerful, but Iran is becoming indispensable to the regional security architecture of everything east of Egypt in the Mashreq. The security and defensive forces in Syria and Iraq have become integrated with Tehran’s security architecture. Hezbollah has emerged stronger than ever too with a genuine regional reach and presence that extends from Lebanon and Syria in the Levant to the territory of Iraq where it is fighting the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Israel is beginning to feel the pressure and has begun to show some signs of panic. When talking about Iranian influence in the Middle East, Israeli politicians and media reports claim that a third Arab capital—Sana—is now under Tehran’s control. Moreover, Tel Aviv has begun to rattle the cage as nuclear negotiations—and the undisclosed talks about non-nuclear issues— between the US and Iranian governments have been underway.
The House of Saud is anxious too. For these reasons the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Israel are closer and more strategic than ever. Both the Israelis and House of Saud have also started a propaganda campaign using the unconcealed presence of Iranian military personnel in Syria to try to scare the Arab public by ridiculously claim that the Iranians have been using the Syrian conflict to gain influence inside Syria. This rhetoric is fear mongering that ignores that fact that Tehran was already the strategic ally of Damascus before the Syrian crisis and that an Iranian presence existed in Syria long before 2011. What is true, however, is that ties have deepened between Tehran and Damascus.
Categories: Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy